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all-star superman

Ask Chris #281: The Cross-Time Connection Between ‘All Star Superman’ And ‘DC One Million’

Ask Chris #281, background art by Frank Quitely

A: I'm glad you asked! As a writer, long-term plotting has never really been one of my strong points --- I'm more a student of that Larry Hama "never more than three pages ahead" sort of school --- but as a reader, there's nothing I love more than seeing threads tie together after years of groundwork being laid. It's that Chris Claremont, Walt Simonson style of plotting where seemingly insignificant elements and offhand remarks can suddenly gain importance, and where the same imagery can weave itself in and out of the story to give everything a new meaning. And what Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely and Val Semeiks did in DC One Million and All-Star Superman is one of the best and most subtle examples of long-term plotting ever.

Well. Subtle by superhero comic standards, anyway. It still involves a time-traveling Superman who lives inside the sun.

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Grant Morrison And The Great Work

Frank Quitely
Frank Quitely

In magical practice, the term magnum opus has a different meaning than in popular context. Latin for "the Great Work," its been used since the early alchemists, and taken on various shades of metaphorical meaning through different traditions, but they're all essentially referring to the same thing: the total actualization of one's will, and the creation of the idealized self. Grant Morrison, the most inventive writer in comics, has been at it for a while now.

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The Evolution of Superman: The Best Superman Stories by Decade

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Many of comics' most popular heroes have been around for decades, and in the case of the big names from the publisher now known as DC Comics, some have been around for a sizable chunk of a century. As these characters passed through the different historical eras known in comics as the Golden Age (the late 1930s through the early 1950s), the Silver Age (the mid 1950s through the late 1960s), the Bronze Age (the early 1970s through the mid 1980s) and on into modern times, they have experienced considerable changes in tone and portrayal that reflect the zeitgeist of the time.

With this new feature we'll help you navigate the very best stories of DC Comics' most beloved characters decade by decade. This week, we're taking a look at Superman.

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Stories of Suicide: Myths, Risks, and Help-Seeking in the Creative Community

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September 8--14 is National Suicide Prevention Week, an annual campaign sponsored by the American Association of Suicidology that recognizes suicide as a major public health concern and promotes the message that suicide deaths can be preventable. In the U.S. alone, nearly 40,000 people take their own lives each year. That's an average of 105 deaths per day. Yet, unlike the campaigns focused on the 9 other leading causes of death, suicide prevention isn't just about raising funds and improving treatment. Suicide is associated with stigma and misconceptions that often close the dialogue and prevent us from learning how we can overcome this epidemic. We don't talk about it. We are scared to ask about it. We simply don't know what to do.

It is undeniable that all of us are thinking about suicide. We thought about it when Hank Pym (Ant-Man) contemplated ending his life after years of stress on his constantly-morphing body. We thought about it when Roy Harper (Red Arrow) was tormented by his phantom limb pain and overdosed on painkillers. We thought about it when Bruce Banner confessed that he could no longer withstand the internal destruction caused by the Hulk, but when he put a bullet in his mouth, "the other guy spit it out." Everyone who's read Neil Gaiman's The Sandman can stand up. You've thought about it, too. Constantine. Deadshot. Mr. Terrific. Rorschach. Nearly every character in The Walking Dead. The list of narratives goes on, some more explicit than others.

Fiction is one of the most common ways we openly explore suicidality and connect with feelings of hopelessness, despair, and depression. Comics allow us to participate in the subversive in a way that is culturally acceptable. We break that rule and seem to enter a place of insecurity and isolation when we begin admitting our own feelings of anguish and thoughts of self-harm.

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Ask Chris #1,000,000: DC’s Greatest Crossover

Ask Chris art by Erica Henderson

Q: Why is DC One Million the best crossover ever? -- @SerialWordsmith

A: Whenever I'm asked about my favorite DC crossover, the one that I always go with is Invasion!, and I think there's a pretty good argument you can make. It's done in three oversized issues, so it's quick but still feels like an epic story since they're all 80-page giants, it has a great use of some often-neglected parts of DC's cosmic side, and there are pretty fantastic tie-ins from creators doing career-best work on books like Suicide Squad and Animal Man, and it really did add something interesting to the DC Universe.

Then someone mentions DC One Million and I realize that yeah, I'm wr-- I'm mista-- I'm misremembering things, because it's definitely the best. I mean, it's not just the best DC crossover, but it's probably the single best crossover in all of superhero comics.

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Grant Morrison: The ‘Action Comics’ Exit Interview

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There is no denying Grant Morrison is one of the premiere voices in the comic book industry today. Whether he is crafting stories about interdimensional, alien gods enslaving humanity or just reinventing the Justice League for a new generation, it is clear the man is a visionary...

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Remembering ‘All Star Superman’ On World Suicide Prevention Day

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The World Health Organization reports that suicide is one of the three leading causes of death for people aged 15-44, and estimates that each year approximately one million people die from suicide...

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Chip Kidd’s Luxurious, Custom ‘All-Star Superman’ and ‘Batman & Robin’ Books [Video]

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Graphic designer Chip Kidd has long been admired for his prodigious collection of DC Comics books and merchandise, particularly that which he compiled in the popular Batman Collected coffee table book...

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Dwayne McDuffie, R.I.P. [UPDATED]

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Comic Book Resources reported Tuesday that prolific comics writer and animation producer Dwayne McDuffie passed away as the result of "complications due to a surgical procedure performed Monday evening...

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Don’t Ask! Just Buy It! – February 23, 2011: End of Four, Multiple Sevens, All of Zero

actioncomics898

Reading Comics author Douglas Wolk runs down the hottest comics and graphic novels coming out this week.

KEY:
* Gloves
^ Moustaches
% Eyebrows
¢ Oaths

% ¢ ACTION COMICS #898
Paul Cornell and Pete Woods' Lex Luthor serial continues to slither toward its climax; this time, he meets up with Green Lantern's completist-collector stand-in Larfleeze.


% ...

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